Resources for Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Programs

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program is a broad term for approaches employing a student to facilitate or lead study groups for historically-difficult courses. Most often, PAL is used with college-level courses. Some of major models that have been adopted nationally or internationally include: Supplemental Instruction (SI), Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL), Emerging Scholars Program (ESP, operates under other names as well), Structured Learning Assistance (SLA), Accelerated Learning Groups (ALG), and Video-Based Supplemental Instruction (VSI). The following resources could be adapted for use with nearly any PAL approach.

Resources to Learn More about PAL Programs

The following publications and online resources will help you explore the major peer assisted learning models operating at the postsecondary level.

Podcast and YouTube Channels Related to PAL Programs

The following are a sample of audio-visual resources for more information about PAL.

  • PAL Groups Podcast

    Hosted by David Arendale, this audio and video podcast features interviews with student PAL leaders, research updates from David concerning professional publications, and more. The podcast can be subscribed through iTunes, Google, and other venues.

  • PAL Groups YouTube Channel

    The YouTube channel provides the same audio and video episodes as distributed through the PAL Groups Podcast and also David's conference presentations, webinars, and workshops.

  • Peer Learning YouTube Playlist

    The YouTube playlist is maintained by David Arendale to identify videos about a variety of peer learning programs such as SI, PLTL, and others.

Training and Professional Development Resources

Join the conversation with other peer administrators through the email listservs, listen to the podcast, and download the manual used at UMN to train PAL student leaders.

  • PAL Training Handbook from University of Minnesota

    The basic training manual used with PAL Facilitators. Feel free to use and adapt for use at your campus. It incorporates best practices from Supplemental Instruction, Emerging Scholars Program, and Peer Led-Team Learning.

  • Email Listserv for Supplemental Instruction Campus Directors

    The Supplemental Instruction (SI) training office sponsors a free email listserv for professionals implementing SI to ask and answer questions. Even if you are not implementing SI, the conversations might still be useful due to the topics.

  • Email Listserv for LRNASST

    LRNASST is a broad-based email discussion group for professionals involved with learning assistance including peer learning programs.

  • PAL Group Audio Podcast from the University of Minnesota

    This free audio podcast contains interviews with student PAL facilitators here at updates on the latest peer learning research. Perhaps this will inspire you to record stories from your PAL leaders to use when training future ones.

  • CRLA Handbook for Training Peer Tutors and Mentors

    The Handbook for Training Peer Tutors and Mentors is a must-read resource for postsecondary faculty and learning center professionals who hire, train, and supervise tutors and mentors. This handbook prepares programs to apply for CRLA certification.

Professional Standards for Peer Learning Programs

These standards have been established by professional associations and organizations that represent the field of learning assistance. Several of them also offer certification, professional development, workshops, and training materials.

PAL Overview Presentation

The following items come from several presentations I have made over the years about PAL approaches for academic support.

  • Online PowerPoint Presentations about PAL by others

    As with the bibliography of online articles, this list is dated and no doubt filled with broken web links. The updated list of all documents is through the first item in this category, annotated bibliography of PAL programs.